April 2014 Minutes.

Minutes of the meeting of Hollingbourne Parish Council

held on Wednesday 16th April 2014 in the Cardwell Pavilion

commencing at 7.30pm

 

Present:                      Mr M Bedwell (Chairman)                             Dr S Bauer

Mr A Ward (Vice-Chairman)                          Mr A Bennett

Mr J Cobbett                                                   Mr P Waite

Mr D Ardley                                                   Mr L Vallins

and      Mrs V Smith, Parish Clerk

In attendance             Ms E Lawrence and two members of the public

 

1.      Apologies for absence     Mrs D Parvin (family vacation)

Mrs J Whittle (clash of meetings)

2.      Declarations and Requests

Declaration of Changes to the Register of Interests   – none

Declaration of Interest in items on the Agenda          – Mr Peter Lee, of the Meadows Trust, for Planning Application at Autumn Cottage, Musket Lane, Hollingbourne, as he is the internal auditor for our accounts. 

Requests for Dispensations                                         – none

3.      Approval of minutes of last meeting  (Circulated prior to meeting)

It was resolved that the minutes were a true and accurate record of the meeting, except for the spelling of Crismill Lane, and they were duly signed by the Chairman. 

4.      Matters Arising (not covered elsewhere on the agenda) 

·         The school have reminded the parents about not parking dangerously, on the zig-zag lines or on corners, and a copy of the notice was circulated amongst the councillors.

·         Village members have been invited to our twinned village, Templeuve, France on the 17th and 18th May 2014.  The visit will include a trip into town, a meal, dancing and musical entertainment.  There is also interest in an International Football Tournament in June 2014, please can we let our contact in France know if we wish to attend.

·         We need to obtain a quotation for tree surgeon work for the trees around Cardwell Pavilion.  Give details of work required to the Clerk, essential maintenance only – safety check.  Action:  Clerk

·         The Clerk sent reminder of the meeting date so that a police representative could provide a crime report.  Apologies received, unable to attend today. 

·         Mr A Ward informed us that three quotes have been received for the repair of the fencing at the Greenway Court Road end of the field, and works have now been completed. 

·         Dr S Bauer informed the members that the replacement of the village sign was progressing well.  It has however been advised that the re-conditioned wooden sign should really be kept indoors, as adverse weather conditions will quickly ruin it.  A fibreglass copy of the sign is being produced and it has been recommended that a second sign also be commissioned, as it is far more economical to have two signs produced simultaneously. This will be financed by the surplus from the 2013 Fete.

5.             Chairman’s Report    

·         A letter of thanks should be sent to Val Williams of the WI, as they have sorted through all of the gazebos at Cardwell Pavilion in preparation for the Village Fete.  It was a long and arduous job.  Do we need to purchase any new ones? – no they are all good.  Mr D Ardley will draft a letter and the Clerk will send it.  Action:  Mr D Ardley & The Clerk. 

·         A local farmer, Mike Attwood has asked the Councillors if they would like to see the Orchids in residence on the Downs and archaeological finds.  Most suitable times are mid to end of May 2014.  Eight members would like to attend on Monday, 19th May, later in the day.  The Chairman will advise the farmer of this.  Action: The Chairman.

·         The SBA had been in contact with the Chairman and the Previous Clerk  regarding the Annual Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2013 and the Annual Statutory Returns which had been filed late and had been qualified by PKF Littlejohn LLP who are the appointed auditors.  Consideration was given to the actions needed to finalise the Accounts for the year ended 31st March 2014 by the due date of 9th June 2014.   It was noted that additional training for the Clerk may be required and it was decided to form a sub-committee to assist the new Clerk.  .  Action:  Mr J Cobbett,  Mr D Ardley, Mr A Ward & The Clerk.

6.             Finance Report 

·         Mr J Cobbett informed us that the Parish Council has received funding cuts from Maidstone Borough Council, and this means that is it imperative to increase various rents for Cardwell Pavilion and Lance Memorial Playing Field.  The Chairman suggested that any unhappy users the Pavilion or Field should write to their local MP as they may be able to help.  It was noted that a village referendum may be necessary in order to increase the Parish Precept in 2015/6 in order that the shortfall in funding from Maidstone Borough Council could be replaced. 

·         Several organisations and charities utilise Cardwell Pavilion free of charge.  At present these include:  The WI (Pancake Races and the Village Safari), Messy Church and the Breast Cancer Run.  It was decided to honour any present obligations for free use of the Cardwell Pavilion and then to charge users. This was proposed by Mr Bennett and seconded by Dr Bauer. 

·         Mr M Bedwell informed the councillors of the revised fees for the hire of the Cardwell Pavilion:

Resident (inc. residential

clubs and organisations)

£8.00 per hour for the hall

£12.00 per hour for the hall and field

Previously, £6.00 and £10.00

Commercial and others

£12.00 per hour for the hall

£12-18.00 per hour for the hall and the field

Previously, £10.00 and £16.00

·         Mr J Cobbett emphasized that we need to know exactly how much the costs are for Cardwell Pavilion and a revised layout of the accounts was required.  It was decided that at the May meeting there would be draft accounts for the year to March 2014 which would be freely available for inspection so that any decisions regarding increases in rent to regular users of the Pavilion such as the Pre-School Play Group and the Football Club could understand the Council’s financial position.

·         It is estimated that Cardwell Pavilion costs at least £8,000 per year to run, and for every £1.00 per hour that we receive £4.00 is spent.  To improve this situation Mr M Bedwell recommended that we need to promote Cardwell Pavilion so that it can be used for different events, and therefore be more profitable.  Can we market the hall in a more proactive manner?  We need to change the number on the board outside of Cardwell Pavilion and make sure that it is correct in the village magazine. We have had enquiries from Cat’s Protection for three Saturdays, one wedding (the hall and the field), and evening events.  Costs need to be set for different events.  An After School Club is also a possibility and proposals have been made.  Can we think about different ideas and costs and formally adopt the costs of Cardwell Pavilion for events.  If we can generate money from the Pavilion this year, costs can then be reviewed next year.

7.             Street Lighting

·         Mr D Ardley found a 1980 Statute, which implies that KCC is not doing what it is required in maintaining street lighting.  Owing to their absence Mrs D Parvin or Mrs J Whittle are not available for comment today, but the Council  believes that KCC should be doing more than they actually are.  Mr D Ardley will draft a letter and the Clerk will send it to the KCC.  In the meantime, if a street light is not working, please report it to the Clerk.  Action:  Mr D Ardley & The Clerk.

8.             Parks Report

·         Mr A Ward has written to D Parvin assisting legal help in obtaining the Millennium Green Deeds.  Mr D Ardley commented on the need for funding and the upkeep of the green.  We pick up mowing costs only and have a voluntary gardener, who only charges for the petrol used in his lawnmower and a yearly service for his machinery. 

·         Mr A Ward will copy in the Clerk in tandem regarding the Charities Commission, as we want to be re-instated as a charity.  Will our Public Liability Insurance, which is due to expire in June 2014, cover the Millennium Green, or will we need to pay an extra premium?  Probably, an extra premium of £450-£500.00 is required.

·         Signage and fencing will be required around the pond of Millennium Green when we obtain it – stating Danger Deep Water, and this must be organised before June 2014.

·         A new noticeboard for outside the school has been obtained, and Mr A Ward will get it fitted.  Action:  Mr A Ward

9.             Crime Report               None received.              

10.         Clerk’s Report             Thanked Elaine for her training and wished her the best.

11.         Planning Report       

·         Mr P Waite advised that a draft local plan has now been produced for Hollingbourne village.  Mr A Bennett and Mr P Waite thought that the site along from the Railway was far better for the building of the intended 45 properties.  Mr Chris Lockhead from Ward Homes is interested in the building of the homes near the railway.  It would be very advantageous for the properties to be built on this site and we want to encourage younger families into the village.

·         Mr A Bennett and Mr P Waite will make contact with the Borough Council regarding Planning Workshops.  Action  Mr A Bennett and Mr P Waite.

MA/14/0352                                                      Do not wish to object

Autumn Cottage, Musket Lane

Installation of solar panels on garage roof

12.         Environmental Report

·         Dr S Bauer has planted and maintained the trees and natural hedging around the entrance to the village, and they are looking glorious – thank you.

·         There are various signs emerging within the village.  The Tamarind signs are in relation to a conservatory installation company.  The Sugar Loaves have also erected a new sign in the village, but it looks in good order.

13.         Fete Report

·         Mr J Cobbett advised us that plans for the fete are progressing well.  We have Zumba dancers, ukulele players, but we need more vintage cars to attend.  The next meeting date is the 19th May 2014.

14.         County Councillor’s Report  

None received.  Mr A Bennett advised that Mrs J Whittle may soon be adjusting her role within the Kent County Council.

 

15.         Borough Councillor’s Report            

None received.

16.         Items for Information

·         Mr L Vallins advised us that he had been in touch with Abi Jessop, a KCC Member, with regards to providing for the youths in the village.  This is an important issue. 

·         Is there an interest in organising Community Trusts?  Villagers set up regular direct debits or leave money within their wills, in order to support local needs.  The Church Bell Ringers Association and the Friends of the Church Group also have trusts, but Mr M Bedwell emphasised that we need to try every avenue.  Mr L Vallins will produce an article on the matter and J Cobbett will put it upon the Parish Council website.  Action:  Mr L Vallins and Mr J Cobbett.

 

Date of next meeting          Monday, 12th May 2014

 

Signed as a true record:                       Chairman:     ……………………………………

 

Date:                                                                                                                                                               ……………………………………